Acronicta americana – eggs

My favorite color is green, in case you couldn’t tell.
So I was quite impressed when I saw these eggs laid by Mrs. Acronicta americana… (all the following images were created with a camera, scope, and automontage software)

*blink* What’s with that neon color? And the clear edges? And why do they look more like sand dollars than caterpillar eggs?
As they grew, most of them acquired a mottled brown coloration that was even more bizarre. I mean seriously, what right does this thing have calling itself an egg? It’s a colorful pancake. Since the green ones are still around, we’re guessing they were for some reason infertile. But the colorful ones…
Well, you heard the story of the discombobulated hatching/food plant acquisition adventure. Luckily, some of the A. americana were still developing, so I could get cool pictures.

Here is one with a bit of the brown pattern left – becoming SWIRLS. I couldn’t come up with something this bizarre looking if I tried. And if you squint, you can make out the two sets of eyes and mouth in the middle.

And becoming more caterpillar-like. I guess they need that extra room in the edges for their fancy long hair. The eyes and mouth are now clearly visible. The brown guts were actual moving the entire time I was trying to photograph them, so they came out kind of blurred… I wish I had gotten a video of that movement, it was fascinating.

So here they are, some almost ready, some taking their sweet time.

“let me out of heeeerrrreeee!”

Posted on May 26, 2011, in Acronicta, Noctuidae. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Unbelievable shots! Bizarre right from their very beginnings.
    Thanks for the blog… and, ummmm… more than a little jealous.

    If you are ever searching in Eastern Massachusetts – drop me a line.
    – Sam

  1. Pingback: Acronicta americana – growing up « caterpillarblog

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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